Interim Secretariat of International Solar Alliance inaugurated & foundation stone of ISA headquarters laid in Gurgaon
Taking a step forward to formalize the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande inaugurated the interim headquarters of the ISA at National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) on 25th January 2016 in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. This clearly presents India’s ambitious plans to bring about a significant shift in its energy portfolio. From only about 30 GW of renewable energy today, India aims to achieve a capacity of 175 GW by 2022, of which solar is going to account for about 100 GW. The target by 2030 is 350 GW, of which 250 GW is likely to be solar-based. Such a dramatic shift is possible only with visionary policymaking and setting up of institutions and organizations committed to the development of the solar sector; and ISA is a firm step in this direction.
President Hollande and PM Modi jointly laid the foundation stone of the headquarters of ISA, which is aimed at increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy in solar-rich nations. Launched during the 21st Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), the ISA is India’s brainchild wherein an alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries, lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, will address special energy needs through co-operation in finance and technology transfers.
The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilize more than 1000 billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation. Praising India’s initiative the French Premier said that the solar alliance is India’s gift to the world for combating climate change. “The Alliance has France’s full support,” Hollande said.
India has offered a contribution of Rs.100 crore (around US $15 million) for creating ISA’s corpus fund. In addition, the Government of India has offered training support for ISA member countries at the NISE and also support to ISA member countries for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications. The alliance will attempt to mobilize $1 trillion in investment in solar energy by 2030 across the member countries. During the foundation laying ceremony of the ISA headquarters, PM Modi said, “If oil producing countries can come together, why can’t countries that get 300 days of sun light in a year come together? ISA will be a global and independent institution.” The French Development Agency will allocate 300 million Euros for developing solar energy over next five years to finance initial projects under the International Solar Alliance.
As per the officials of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), ISA’s interim headquarters will be housed in three floors of NISE while a bigger, permanent headquarters will be built on five acres of land on the NISE campus. India’s effort is to build an Iconic structure for ISA Secretariat. President Hollande further announced France’s intention to support PM Modi’s 100 Smart Cities project. “We can link this initiative to the Solar Alliance projects by helping increase public lighting and supplying solar electricity to these cities,” he said.
ISA will be a major international body headquartered in India. It marks a new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations.